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Plant Physiol. 1991 Nov;97(3):1087-93.

Mutant of Arabidopsis deficient in xylem loading of phosphate.

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  • 1Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1312.


A mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana deficient in the accumulation of inorganic phosphate has been isolated by screening directly for plants with altered quantities of total leaf phosphate. The mutant plants accumulate approximately 5% as much inorganic phosphate, and 24 to 44% as much total phosphate, as wild-type plants in aerial portions of the plant. Growth of the mutant is reduced, relative to wild type, and it exhibits other symptoms normally associated with phosphate deficiency. The phosphate deficiency is caused by a single nuclear recessive mutation at a locus designated pho1. The rate of phosphate uptake into the roots was similar between mutant and wild-type plants over a wide range of external phosphate concentrations. In contrast, when plants were grown in media containing 200 micromolar phosphate or less, phosphate transfer to the shoots of the mutant was reduced to 3 to 10% of the wild-type levels. The defect in phosphate transfer to the shoots could be overcome by providing higher levels of phosphate. Transfer of sulfate to the shoots was essentially normal in the mutant, indicating that the pho1 lesion was not a general defect in anion transport. Movement of phosphate through the xylem of the shoots was not impaired. The results suggest that the mutant is deficient in activity of a protein required to load phosphate into the xylem.

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